Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

Home | Contact Us

   

Our Mission: Safer Stronger Communities - Safe Effective Firefighters. English Home Fire Safety Check Page Arabic Home Fire Safety Check Page Bengali Home Fire Safety Check Page Chinese Home Fire Safety Check Page Somali Home Fire Safety Check Page

Access To Information

Access To Information Held by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

Government Legislation has been introduced to make public sector organisations more open and accountable to the public.

This internet page has been designed to assist with some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) which Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority has received in relation to accessing information.

Q. What Legislation currently exists?

A. In brief there are primarily three key Acts of Parliament that have been put in place. These consist of:-

  • The Data Protection Act 1998 which allows people to have access to their personal information that is held by the Authority.
  • The Freedom of Information Act 2000, which broadens people's access to information that is held by public authorities, for example: reports, minutes of meetings etc.
  • The Environmental Information Regulations which gives the public increased access to environmental information held by public authorities, for example: reports, readings, research findings etc.

Q. What does Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority do when we receive a request for information?

A. When we have determined which legislation your request for information comes under, i.e. Data Protection, Freedom of Information or Environmental Information your request will be dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the legislation. There will be differences in how requests for information are dealt with, for example: the time limit to deal with a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is 20 working days, whilst under the Data Protection Act the time limit is 40 calendar days.

top

Data Protection Act 1998

Q. So what does the Data Protection Act 1998 mean?

A. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority is a large organisation providing a range of services to the community. To administer the services efficiently it is necessary to keep information about people. This includes Service personnel, suppliers and service users. An increasing proportion of personal information is held in computer files in addition to manual records. This information is used by authorised staff to run and improve services provided by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority.

Q. What is personal data?

A. The definition of personal data under the Act is information that relates to a living individual.

Q. What are the eight principles of the Data Protection Act?

A. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority wishes to be open about the type and extent of personal data it holds and as a responsible body is committed to follow the eight principles of the Data Protection Act when dealing with personal information. They are:

  • Fair and lawful processing of your personal information with regard to how we:
    • Store your personal information.
    • Collect and retrieve your information.
    • Share your information with other agencies.
  • Data to be used only for specified purposes.
  • Personal information must be adequate relevant and not excessive.
  • Personal data should be accurate.
  • Personal data should be not kept longer than is necessary.
  • Personal data should be processed in line with the rights of the data subjects
    • The right of Subject Access ( please see below)
  • Personal information is kept securely and disposed of securely.
  • Personal Data must not be transferred to other countries without adequate protection

Q. What are my rights to view information that is held about me under the Data Protection Act?

A. The Data Protection Act gives people the right to apply for copies of personal data, this application is called a Subject Access Request.(SAR)

When a request for personal data is received, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority will reply to the request within the 40 days, as required under the Data Protection Act. There is a charge of £10 for supplying the personal data requested. For security purposes and to ensure confidentiality, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority will ask potential applicants for evidence to confirm their identity e.g. driving license, birth certificate or ID card.

If you would like further information, please contact the Corporate Information Sharing Officer.

If you wish to request Personal Information you should first complete a Subject Access Request Form. Once you have completed the form it should be sent to:

Corporate Information Sharing Officer
Strategy and Performance
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority
Fire Service Headquarters
Bridle Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L30 4YD

Tel: 0151 296 4479/4474

top

Privacy Notice

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service works to keep people safe at home, on the roads and in the community. In order to do this work we will often need the name and address of our service users.

To ensure people get the right services we may ask for further information such as age and any health requirements. This helps us to understand what peoples needs are and who else may be able to help.

We work closely with other agencies, and may offer assistance from other agencies such as Councils, Health Services, Adult & Childrens Services or charities. We will usually explain if we want to share personal information with other agencies and allow people to say no if they prefer. This may mean that people will not get all the help they may need.

There are some circumstances where we will not be able to ask for agreement. This is where the law requires us to contact other agencies, usually relating to crime or where there is a serious risk to personal safety.

Want to know more?

We recognise that people trust us to handle information correctly and keep it safe. We will not use information for marketing, and we will only use it for the purpose we collected it.

If you want to know more details about how we use personal information, or if you would like to opt out of any of our services, please either

  • visit www.merseyfire.gov.uk or
  • contact the corporate Information Sharing Officer on 0151 296 4479/4474

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Community Safety Information Privacy Notice

Home Fire Safety Checks  We record name, and address and any details about risks in the home, such as smoking, use of oxygen or disabilities/illnesses.

We may share information with other agencies who can provide more help, and we will usually give the house holder the chance to say no if they dont want us to share information. If house holders dont want to give us information we may be unable to fully assist.

FACE scheme  We work with children and young people who may be at risk of causing fires to try and change their behaviour. These individuals may have been referred for our FACE scheme work by the parent/guardian, school, Police or Childrens Services, or because we are concerned about a fire incident.

We only provide FACE scheme work with parent/guardian agreement and we aim to include parents or guardians in our work. We recognise the privacy rights of those aged under 18. We must retain records of any work with children or young people in case of future queries.

We may have to share FACE scheme information with other agencies if there is a significant risk or if we are required by law. Where possible we will advise before we share information but there may be exceptions to this.

Safeguarding Referrals  In cases of potential abuse or neglect or where we feel the making of a safeguarding referral is appropriate we will complete a Safeguarding reporting form which records personal information and also the details of the concerns relating to the individual (adult or child).

We may then refer matters to the local authority in accordance with Adult or Childrens Services referral procedures.

Safe Haven  Where our premises operate as Safe Havens for use by people in danger or distress we will complete a Safe Haven reporting form. The form records personal information and also the reason for the person needing to use a Safe Haven.

If relevant, the information will then be shared with agencies that can offer the individual support.

Arson Reduction and Target Hardening  Referrals for arson reduction/prevention by way of target hardening are received from various partner agencies. This will involve a site visit and installation of relevant devices to make the property more resistant to the use of fire. Once a visit is completed then the personal information concerning the reason for the visit and actions taken is recorded on Capita.

Hate Crime  When MF&RS perceive that a hate incident or hate crime has been committed then Merseyside Police will be informed. If this is at an operational incident then this will be done whilst in attendance and Police requested via Fire Service Control (MACC). If this information is obtained during a visit then a hate crime referral form can be completed via the Portal. This form records personal information and also the reason for the hate crime referral.

top

Freedom of Information Act 2000

Q. What is the Freedom of Information Act?

A. The Freedom of Information Act came into force on the 1st January 2005. The Act allows people access to information that is held by public authorities.

Q. What are my rights under the Freedom of Information Act?

A. The Act allows you to:

  • Request information Merseyside Fire Service in writing, this could be via letter, fax or email. The request should have your contact details on it and a description of the information that you are requesting for.
  • Anyone can put in a request for information to Merseyside Fire Service from anywhere in the world.
  • When submitting a request, you do not have to give a reason as to why you want the information.
  • You can request that the information to be in any form and format.

Q. What are Merseyside Fire and Rescue's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act?

A. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority's obligations under the Freedom of Information Act are:

  • Acknowledge receipt of your request for information.
  • Deal with your request for information within 20 working days.
  • To inform you if we hold the information requested and if no exemption applies, supply you with the information.
  • Provide advice and assistance to those making a request or wishing to make a request for information.
  • Inform you if the information is publicly available and inform you where you can obtain the information.

Q. How do I make a request for information?

A. If you would like to submit a request for information to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, your request should be in writing, e.g. fax, email or letter, with your contact details and a description of the information you require.

Requests for information can be submitted to:

The Corporate Information Sharing Officer
Strategy and Performance
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority
Fire Service Headquarters
Bridle Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L30 4YD

Or you can email your request to: foiteam@merseyfire.gov.uk

Q. What is the Publication Scheme?

A. The Freedom of Information Act requires all public authorities to create and maintain a Publication Scheme. The Publication Scheme is a guide to what information is being held by public authorities. The purpose of a Publication Scheme is to persuade public authorities to engage more with the public by informing the public what information is available.

  • The classes of information the Authority publishes.
  • The format in which information is available.
  • If there are any charges for the information.
You can also view a hard copy of the publication scheme at your local community fire station, please click here to find your local community station. Information that is available on the Publication Scheme is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, as it is information that accessible to the applicant by other means.

Q. Will I be charged for the information requested?

A. For a majority of requests under the Freedom of Information Act there will not be a charge. However, if dealing with a request exceeds 18 hours or more, we are not bound to deal with the request. If this does occur, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority will get in touch with you to see if you wish to refine your request. If there is a charge for supplying information requested, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority will contact you informing you about the charges. Information will only be released to you when we have received payment.

top

Exemptions

Q. What are Exemptions?

A. Whilst the Freedom of Information Act allows the public to access to information held by public authorities, there are a number of exemptions that public authorities can apply to prevent the release of information. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority may on occasions release information that may have sections removed as an exemption applies which prevents the information being released. Within the Act there are two categories of exemption:

Absolute Exemption

An authority may simply refuse to provide the information citing the exemption and reasons why it applies. Within this category there are eight exemptions:

  • Information accessible to the applicant by other means
  • Information supplied by or relating to bodies dealing with security matters
  • Court records
  • Parliamentary privilege
  • Personal information
  • Information supplied in confidence
  • Information subject to a prohibition on disclosure

Qualified Exemptions (Exemptions where the public interest test applies)

If the information that is requested falls into one of the categories listed below, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority has to decide whether to release or withhold the information. We have to decide whether it is in the public interest to release the information. The only time Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority will apply this exemption is if it believes that releasing such information would cause harm or discrimination. If it is decided that a qualified exemption applies, we will explain to you the reason was to why the exemption has been applied to the information you have requested. There are 15 qualified exemptions:

  • Information Intended for Future Publication
  • National Security
  • Defence
  • International Relations
  • Relations within the United Kingdom
  • The Economy
  • Investigations and Proceedings Conducted by Public Authorities
  • Law Enforcement
  • Audit
  • Formulation of government policy
  • Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs
  • Communications with Her Majesty, etc. and Honours
  • Health and Safety
  • Environmental Information
  • Legal Professional Privilege
  • Commercial Interests

If one of the above exemptions does apply to the information you have requested, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority will inform you if the information requested is exempt.

top

Environmental Information Regulations

The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) came into effect on the 1st January 2005, along with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. These Regulations give the public increased access to environmental information held by public authorities. It is part of a wider group of policies to ensure that decision-making is more open and accountable. The aim of these Regulations is to increase public participation in decision-making processes.

When a request for information is submitted to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, we have to determine what category of information is being requested. If the information requested is classed as environmental information under the Regulations then we deal the request as a request for information under the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations.

Q. What is regarded as environmental information under the Regulations?

A. The Regulations increase the criteria of what is environmental information. These are listed in Regulation 2, a copy of the Environmental Information Regulations can be found here: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2004/20043391.htm or contact the Freedom of Information Team at for further advice and guidance.

Q. What type of information fall under the Environmental Information Regulations?

A. The Regulations state that it is the duty of authorities to release environmental information when it is requested.

This applies to all information that is held by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority or on behalf of the Service, including information that is held by consultants and private companies on behalf of the Service. Information that was collated by the Service before the Regulations came into force are also accessible through these Regulations.

Q. How do I make a request for information?

A. If you would like to submit a request for information to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, you can submit a verbal request as well as in writing.

Requests for information can be submitted to:
Corporate Information Sharing Officer
Strategy and Performance
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority
Fire Service Headquarters
Bridle Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L30 4YD

Tel: 0151 296 4479/4474
Or you can email your request to: foiteam@merseyfire.gov.uk

If you would like help in drafting your request or wish to discuss your request for information, you can contact Strategy and Performance.

When the Service receives your request and your request is not covered by an exception, the information will be forwarded to you within 20 working days. However, if you submit a request for a large amount of information or it is a request where there are complexities in retrieving the information, we can extend the time to deal with the request from 20 working days to 40 working days. If this does occur Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority will contact you within the 20 working days to information you about this extension of time.

Q. Will there be a charge for the information I request?

A. The Regulations allows the Service to charge for environmental information, the Service can only impose a charge that is a "reasonable amount". Unlike the Freedom of Information Act, the Service cannot refuse to release information on the grounds that it is too expensive to produce.

If a charge is imposed, the Service can request payment in advance from you before the requested information is released. If there is a charge, we will contact you within 20 working days of receipt of the request for information.

Q. What are Exceptions?

A. Under the Regulations, information that is exempt is classed as an exception. The reason for this is that under the Regulations it is presumed that the Service will disclose the information requested. The number of exceptions under the Regulations is smaller to that of the Freedom of Information Act and they are under the category of "Qualified" exceptions, whereby the Service has to look at each case individually and determine whether it is in the public interest to release the information requested.

top

Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations

Q. What are the Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations?

A. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations allow people to access information held by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority. However, the two legislations do not allow the information to be re-used. The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations was introduced on the 1st July 2005, it was introduced to encourage the re-use of information created by public authorities.

Q. What is meant by "re-use"?

A. The term "re-use" is in regard to the use of the document other than the purpose it was created for. Information supplied under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations may be copyright and those who access the information through those legislations may not be able to use the information other than the purposes it was created for.

Q. What are Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority's obligations under these Regulations?

A. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority have to deal with requests for re-use of information in accordance to the Regulations:

  • Provide advice and assistance to those making a request or wishing to make a request.
  • When we receive a request, we have 20 working days to deal with the request. However, if the request is a complex one, this can be extended.

Q. What Information is available for re-use?

A. Any information that Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority produce that is available under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations. Our publication scheme provides a list of information that is available to the public. If the information you wish to access is not listed on our publication scheme, you can submit a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Q. How do I make a request?

A. If you would like to submit a request to re-use information supplied by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, your request should be submitted in writing with your name and address, what information your wish to re-use and the for what purpose.

Written requests should be submitted to:
Strategy and Performance
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority
Bridle Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L30 4YD

Or if you wish to make any queries please contact the Knowledge and Information Department on 0151 296 4479/4474 or email: foiteam@merseyfire.gov.uk

top

Request for Incident Reports

Q. What is an Incident Report

A. An Incident Report is a document that is completed following the attendance to an incident. This includes: all fires, special services (like Road Traffic Collisions for example) and False Alarms attended.

Q. What information does this report contain?

A. The Incident Report contains information such as:

  •  Address/location of Incident
  •  Time and Date of Incident
  •  Type of property
  •  Supposed cause of fire
  •  Damaged caused to property
  •  Casualties

Q. Will I be charged for the information requested?

A. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority levee a standard charge of £144.00 for the provision of an Incident Report. However, it is important to note that where the Data Protection Act 1998 applies the maximum charge will be £10. The limit of £10 imposed by the Data Protection Act 1998 applies where a request for a copy document or information is submitted by a person identified i.e. named on the Fire Report itself. Written confirmation must be provided to the Fire service when a person or organisation requests information on behalf of the identified individual. An authorisation signed by the identified individual and proof of identity must also be provided (i.e. driving licence, passport or birth certificate � photocopies will be acceptable). this is within accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Further information about this Act can be found here .

Q. How can I get access to a copy of the Incident Report?

A. If you wish to obtain a copy of an Incident Report you should first complete a "Application for a copy of an Incident Report"form which can be found here. Once you have completed this form, it should be submitted to:

Information Assistant
Strategy and Performance
Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority
Bridle Road
Bootle
Merseyside
L30 4YD

Or if you wish to make any queries please contact the Strategy and Performance on 0151 296 4425

Each request for a copy of an Incident Report is carefully considered by the Strategy and Performance Team and there may be exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998 that may stop the disclosure of the report.

top

Further Information

Complaints Procedure

Q. If I am unhappy with how my request for information is dealt with, how do I complain.

A. If you are unhappy with how your request for information was dealt with by Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority, you can use our internal complaints procedure. Guidance on our complaints procedure can be found here

Q. What will Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority do when they receive my complaint?

A. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint which will be investigated in accordance with our complaints' procedure.

Q. What can I do if I am dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation?

A. If you are dissatisfied at the outcome of our investigation of your complaint, you can submit a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700

www.ico.gov.uk

Local Transparency Data

Monthly Payment Reports

Consistent with our drive to provide greater financial transparency we now publish spending information over £500.

Providing an excellent and affordable service is a core value of the Authority and embedding transparency through the publication of payments to suppliers above £500 will sustainably improve the delivery of services we provide and lead to greater efficiency and value for money.

This Authority aims to publish as much of the information in accordance with the format required by Government as soon as possible but in the interim we are publishing details of all items of expenditure over £500 on goods and services, provided by external bodies and suppliers.

The amounts shown exclude VAT. The type of expense is included to indicate broadly the type of goods or services purchased.

Publishing formats

The data is published in two formats for your convenience - PDF (portable document file) and CSV (comma-separated values).

The PDF format is the easiest format in which to read the data but it does not allow the data to be analysed or sorted. If you wish to do this then you should use the CSV format, which allows you to put the data into a spreadsheet. Please note that the CSV format uses a standard column width and not all entries may be completely visible. To view all of the data, you will need to expand the columns as required.

Information in other formats

We always try to take account of your individual needs and will do our best to give you the information you need in a way that is easy for you to understand.

 We can arrange to meet you and explain things in person, or we might be able to ask someone else to meet with you. If necessary we may be able to provide a document in large print, on audio CD, as a PDF file or in a language other than English.

To ask for help please email us at foiteam@merseyfire.gov.uk Team or call Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority Headquarters on 0151 296 4000, or call in to our main reception headquarters.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing

Our main reception area has a hearing loop, and we can provide a portable hearing loop for other rooms or meetings if needed. We can provide information in writing if you would like us to.

More information

Requests for additional information will be treated in accordance with our existing Freedom of Information protocols. Please send any request to foiteam@merseyfire.gov.uk

Payments Greater Than £500 - August 2014 v1 PDF - Friday, 12 September 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - August 2014 v1 CSV - Friday, 12 September 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - July 2014 v1 PDF - Wednesday, 03 September 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - July 2014 v1 CSV - Wednesday, 03 September 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - June 2014 v1 PDF - Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - June 2014 v1 CSV - Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - May 2014 v1 PDF - Thursday, 19 June 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - May 2014 v1 CSV - Thursday, 19 June 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - April 2014 v1 PDF - Friday, 23 May 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - April 2014 v1 CSV - Friday, 23 May 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - March 2014 v1 PDF - Monday, 14 April 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - March 2014 v1 CSV - Monday, 14 April 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - February 2014 v1 PDF - Thursday, 27 March 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - February 2014 v1 CSV - Thursday, 27 March 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - January 2014 v1 PDF - Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - January 2014 v1 CSV - Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - December 2013 v1 PDF - Tuesday, 14 January 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - December 2013 v1 CSV - Tuesday, 14 January 2014
Payments Greater Than £500 - November 2013 v1 PDF - Monday, 16 December 2013
Payments Greater Than £500 - November 2013 v1 CSV - Monday, 16 December 2013
1234567

top
Page Top